BOMBAY SAPPHIRE®, the world’s number one premium gin by value and the fastest-growing premium gin, proudly opened the doors to Laverstoke Mill – its gin distillery, visitor experience and brand home, on 1 October 2014 ...
With more than 200 guests experiencing an exclusive first showing of the renovated site and a spectacular unveiling of the unique glasshouses on 17 October, 10 chose botanicals of the unique taste of Bombay Sapphire – juniper, lemon peel, grains of paradise, coriander, cubeb berries, orris root, almonds, cassia bark, liquorice, angelica –were grown on display.
Those closest to the project served as hosts to explain the different experiences of the site including: Master of Botanicals, Ivano Tonutti; Master Distiller at Laverstoke, Mill Nik Fordham; Estate Manager Will Brix; and designer Thomas Heatherwick. Guests also learned about the gin’s unique Vapour Infusion method – the delicate distillation process which captures the natural flavours of the botanicals to produce a smooth and complex-tasting gin.
The newly restored site provides an opportunity for the public to explore Laverstoke Mill as a state-of-the-art gin distillery and world-class visitor experience that marries the site’s history and beauty with the highest standards in design, functionality and sustainability.
For more than 200 years, the mill produced high quality paper for the bank notes of England. The mill expanded with the growth of the British Empire. During Queen Victoria’s reign, it rose prominently and Laverstoke Mill began making bank notes for England’s newly acquired lands, including India. This deep-rooted heritage connects the story of England, Laverstoke Mill, India and the 1761 British recipe for Bombay Sapphire.
The 2-hectare former brown-field site, just 60 miles from London, is an impressive collection of 40 buildings – showcasing many fine examples of Victorian and Edwardian architectural styles. The utmost care was taken to retain as much of the original buildings as possible balanced with the modernity of the British-made spirits brand.
Reflecting on the restoration project, Global Category Director for Bombay Sapphire Ben Farlow says, “We fully respect the importance of heritage and have made every effort over the last four years to ensure Laverstoke Mill is a place that is reflective of its past, and holds the fundamental principles of creativity, integrity and beauty at its centre. It is fantastic to witness the opening of Laverstoke Mill and show-off the incredible design and splendor of the site which we are proud to call our home as it provides the perfect setting to showcase an elegant brand as Bombay Sapphire.”
Laverstoke Mill has been recognised as the first distillery and first refurbishment to achieve an ‘Outstanding’ design-stage Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) accreditation for its distillery process buildings.
“This marks the start of a new legacy for Bombay Sapphire gin. For the first time, we are opening our doors to the public and inviting them to explore the story of Bombay Sapphire,” says Nik Fordham, Master Distiller of Bombay Sapphire. “We are very proud of how we craft each and every bottle of Bombay Sapphire on site and look forward to sharing that passion and enthusiasm with the public.”
The Bombay Sapphire Distillery at Laverstoke Mill also features the Empire Room, a new advocacy and training centre to educate the world’s top bartenders. Tailored brand education master classes will be hosted here for trade and media guests from all over the world, offering an incredible learning experience and opportunity to understand and share in the core values at the heart of Bombay Sapphire.